Are You Looking at the Right Numbers?
In the midst of all the drama around us, it’s easy to look at how your business is doing right now and think “I don’t need to worry about the economic impact later on. I’m OK.”
The other day, I was in a coaching session with a client who sells medical technology. His story was that business was booming, his sales team could hardly keep up with appointments, and orders were flying out the door… which was all true.
But then we compared this year’s numbers with last year’s – and the year before that – and noticed a worrying trend…
… Appointments and sales were always booming at this time of year…
And they trailed off mid-December.
Then… He panicked and worked his butt off from the start of February to around August… when he started to feel complacent.
He’d been looking at total monthly sales rather than a comparison of monthly sales year-on-year.
In fact, when you looked at the situation from that angle, this year did present a challenge: sales were lower than they had been at this time in any of the preceding 3 years.
I suspected that that was what we would find, because I could vividly remember my first conversation back in March of this year, shortly before he brought me on board to coach his team.
I wasn’t trying to be unkind, but I needed to focus his attention on the real problem he faced so that we could solve it together.